Trending hashtags, the new mantra for branding

Amrita Nair Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on May 20, 2015


Asking Twitterati to talk dirty in just four words was how it began. Though it helped catapult an e-commerce portal from anonymity to public consciousness, major brands decided to hop on and used the trending hashtag as part of their own branding strategies.

The e-commerce site decided to do something dramatic to get people to notice the brand, and to entice consumers to welcome the concept of a safe and fun time in the bedroom. Within three hours of launching a contest called #DirtyTalkIn4Words on April 30, it became the most-trending.

Brands like Ola cabs, Magic Bricks and even Penguin Books decided to latch on to the trending hashtag, with most brands engaging in dirty talk.

Alien hashtag

Piggyback riding on alien hashtags appears to have found favour.

“Several brands engaged in the activity to create a buzz around their brand. Even though the hashtag was out of context, they somehow created a link and became part of the trend,” said Swati Nathani, Co-Founder, Team Pumpkin, the agency that created the campaign.

“Attaching a brand to an existing viral or already popular hashtag has become a growing trend,” she pointed out.

So, while Ola Cabs said, “Ride me, right now”, realty firm Magic Bricks tweeted, “Let's get a room”, and Penguin Books joined in with “My bookshelf is massive”.

Even Logitech jumped in with “I always use protection”, to announce the shock absorbent and durable qualities of its products.Samir Saraiya, CEO, said, “We always knew that, inherently, people in India do not mind opening up about talking dirty, but we also knew that we would have to push them into action.”

High attention

Though most brands were having fun at the idea, brand experts point out that interactive content generally garners a lot of attention on social media. They allude to the recent acquisition of Freecharge by Snapdeal, in which Snapdeal proposed to Freecharge on Twitter, and the latter agreed. Nathani insists that some brands tend to go in for media campaigns of completely unrelated brands.

For example, Zomato recently took a dig at Amazon’s #AurDikhao campaign.

Taking a potshot over the frequent logo changes, Amazon tweeted: “Loved all the logos you used in the last six months. Was #AurDikhao the brief to your designer?”

To this, Amazon cheekily responded: “You should have seen the ones that didn’t make the cut”, and attached an image that aped the Amazon arrow, pointing from ‘a’ to ‘z’, in the word ‘Zomato’.

The neat marketing move from Zomato’s digital marketing team held the Twitterati world in splits, especially since the image denoted a smile. Zomato responded: “That put a smile on our face” and embedded the arrow into Zomato’s new spoon logo.

Nathani added that brand-centric hashtags have now taken a back seat, and are being replaced by more engaging hashtags that encourage users to take part in the campaign.

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Published on May 20, 2015
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